ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an office of the Department of Defense, announced that Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA) recently received a Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.
The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed. Pennsylvania ESGR is particularly proud to present employers with a Patriot Award for their strong support of their employees serving in our nation’s Reserve forces.
Supervisors Michele Costello, Angela Geyer, and John Mooney were nominated for the Patriot Award by Sgt. 1st Class David Musser for their outstanding support of his service as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 78th Training Division stationed at Joint Base McGuire–Dix–Lakehurst in New Jersey.
In nominating his supervisors, Musser stated: “The Academy provides me with 30 days of paid military leave and benefits each school year. Senior management also coordinates substitute teachers and case managers to cover my work priorities when I am away. When I returned from leave last month, they gave me seven workdays to organize, prepare and meet students before resuming my teaching duties. Angela Geyer, Michele Costello, and John Mooney have been extremely supportive and appreciative of my military service.”
Presenting the award on behalf of ESGR was Joseph Gentile, Pennsylvania East–Central Area Chair. Gentile commented: “It’s critical and an honor to recognize and pay tribute to those employers that hire and support our Guard and Reserve forces. It would be difficult for those in the uniformed services to perform their mission without employer support.” Gentile added: “Today’s members of the Guard and Reserves are highly trained and skilled; they bring integrity, a global perspective and, proven leadership to the civilian workforce.”
In addition to presenting a Patriot Award, Gentile obtained a Statement of Support from Michelle Orcutt, CCA’s Vice Provost of Special Education. The Statement of Support confirms that the company joins other employers in pledging:
• We fully recognize, honor, and comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act (USERRA).
• We will provide our managers and supervisors with the tools they need to effectively manage employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.
• We appreciate the values, leadership and unique skills service members bring to the workforce and will encourage opportunities to hire Guardsmen, Reservists and Veterans.
• We will continually recognize and support our country’s service members and their families, in peace, in crises and in war.
“Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units,” said Hill. “I am asking all East–Central Pennsylvania employers to take a look at their current human resources policies to incorporate policies supportive of Guard and Reserve employees.” Many Pennsylvania employers provide support above and beyond their legal requirements by law by offering pay-differential to offset the loss of wages, and extension of health care benefits, which complement coverage provided by the military, when their employees mobilize.”
CCA joins a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal, agencies and thousands of America’s employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces. Hill added: “By signing the Statement of Support, CCA is sending a clear message to its employees that while they are serving their country, they do not have to worry about their civilian jobs.”
ESGR, a Department of Defense office, seeks to foster a culture in which all
employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within DoD. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, a global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.
For more information about ESGR Outreach Programs, or ESGR volunteer opportunities, please call 1-800-336-4590 or visit www.ESGR.mil/PA
Photo #1 (L–R): Seated: Sgt. 1st Class Musser, Patriot Award recipients Costello, Geyer, Mooney. Standing: Vice Provost of Special Education Orcutt, and ESGR East¬–Central Area Chair Gentile.
Photo #2 (L–R): Vice Provost of Special Education Orcutt signing a Statement of Support and ESGR East¬–Central Area Chair Gentile.